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by Philippe Lioret


Bilal is 17 and comes from Iraq. He left his native land shortly after his girlfriend emigrated to England and is now in the midst of an adventurous journey across Europe in order to see her again. However, his trek has now come to an abrupt end here on the northern coast of France and he can go no further. Between him and his girlfriend Mina lies the wintry English Channel, its waves whipped into a frenzy of peaks and troughs by the strong gusts of the north-west wind. Bilal is stranded in Calais. A stretch of water measuring 32 kilometres separates him from the nearest English town. In a flash, the boy decides to head for the local swimming pool in order to begin training. This is where he meets lifeguard Simon, to whom he eventually confides his grand plan. Simon takes Bilal under his wing and secretly teaches the young Kurd how to crawl…

international title: Welcome
original title: Welcome
country: France
sales agent: Films Distribution
year: 2009
genre: fiction
directed by: Philippe Lioret
film run: 110'
release date: FR 11/03/2009, BE 25/03/2009, NL 30/07/2009, PT 01/10/2009, HU 22/10/2009, UK 06/11/2009, IT 11/12/2009, DE 04/02/2010
screenplay: Philippe Lioret, Emmanuel Courcol, Olivier Adam
cast: Vincent Lindon, Firat Ayverdi, Audrey Dana, Derya Ayverdi, Thierry Godard, Selim Akgül
cinematography by: Laurent Dailland
film editing: Andrea Sedlácková
art director: Yves Brover
costumes designer: Fanny Drouin
music: Nicola Piovani, Wojciech Kilar, Armand Amar
producer: Christophe Rossignon
production: Nord-Ouest Films, The Bureau
distributor: Mars Distribution, Cinéart, Cinefile World, Arsenal Filmverleih, Teodora Film, Szuez Film


main awards/selection

LUX Prize of European Parliament 2009 
Berlinale 2009 Panorama
Ecumenical Jury Prize
Label Europa Cinémas

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